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CNN Tops Cable, Broadcast Networks for Derek Chauvin Verdict Coverage

Derek Chauvin listens to the judge read the verdict in his trial over the death of George Floyd
(Image credit: CNN)

CNN drew the most viewers among the major broadcast and cable news networks for its coverage of Tuesday’s verdict announcement in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.

CNN drew 4.02 million viewers from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. -- the verdict was read around 5 p.m. -- topping ABC’s 4 million viewers and Fox News’ 3.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen Fast National Time Period data for April 20 (the data excludes broadcast network NBC).

Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for his role in the death of Floyd on May 25, 2020. The killing fueled protests around the world and invoked a national discussion around systemic racism and police violence.

Also Read: Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict: Networks Break Into Regularly Scheduled Programming

Overall, more than 18.3 million viewers tuned into coverage of the verdict across CNN, Fox News, ABC, MSNBC, CBS and HLN, reported Nielsen. 

In Tuesday primetime, Fox News topped competing cable news networks CNN and MSNBC, averaging 2.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

R. Thomas Umstead
R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.